James Stanley

8 out of 10 Countdown viewers

Sun 11 August 2013

I added more fine-grained analytics to my Countdown Solver recently, and I noticed something interesting today. Here are the most-solved letter sets from Friday (note the last three):

And here's a chart which is relevant:

I have figured out what is going on.

Countdown is on every weekday. But if you look at the chart, there are clear spikes every Friday and Monday, for the last 3 weeks. (Except this coming Monday hasn't happened yet).

Do you know "8 out of 10 Cats"? It is a comedy show with Jimmy Carr. There is a special type, shown on Fridays at the moment, called "8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown." The show is repeated on Mondays. I get a huge spike in users on these days, as so many more people watch it than regular Countdown.

The top 3 letter sets are normal sets that come up in the game. 9 letters, same as in regular Countdown. nosefart and lastanus are the sort of crude teatime teasers used on the 8 out of 10 cats version. And they're 8 letters, which is consistent with teatime teaser. And acleanbum is the conundrum.

So the conclusion we can draw, by looking at the table of most-solved letter sets, is that there are around 200 people who sit and watch "8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown" and ruin it for themselves :p.

And in case you're wondering: nosefart/seafront, lastanus/sultanas and acleanbum/ambulance.

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